PORTLAND — A judge hopes to decide within the next three weeks whether Linda Dolloff should get a new trial in the attempted murder of her husband.

Dolloff, who was convicted of the crime after a jury trial in May, was in Cumberland County Superior Court on Thursday as Justice Joyce Wheeler heard arguments. It was the second part of a two-part hearing on Dolloff’s motion for a judgment of acquittal, or for a new trial.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit from the Cumberland County Jail, Dolloff sat quietly at the hearing, occasionally nodding her head or shaking it in disagreement.

A jury agreed with the prosecution’s claims that Dolloff beat her husband, Jeffrey Dolloff, nearly to death with a softball bat, then shot herself to make the incident look like a home invasion. Investigators had no other suspects in the shooting at the couple’s house in Standish on April 12, 2009.

Dolloff’s lawyers, Daniel Lilley and Karen Wolfram, accuse District Attorney Stephanie Anderson of prosecutorial misconduct during the trial. They claim that Anderson misled the jury and violated bar rules by interjecting her personal opinions more than a dozen times during closing arguments.

“This is just wild speculation by the prosecutor with no evidence to support it,” Wolfram told Wheeler on Thursday, referring to Anderson’s demonstration to the jury of how Dolloff might have turned the gun on herself. “There’s no evidence to draw that inference from.”

Wolfram said she realizes that new trials are rarely granted, but it must be done in this case.

“Mrs. Dolloff deserves a fair trial and she didn’t get one,” Wolfram said.

Assistant District Attorney Anne Berlind defended Anderson, who was not at the hearing. Berlind said Cumberland County’s top prosecutor stayed well within the bounds of permissible argument.

“They were not expressions of opinion,” Berlind said of Anderson’s statements. “They were arguments made on the evidence or reasonable inferences that could be drawn from the evidence.

“The jury could rationally, and did rationally, reject the defendant’s theory that an unknown intruder committed the crimes,” Berlind said. “The bottom line is, the defendant was not denied a fair trial.”

After the three-week trial in May, the jury convicted Dolloff of attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and filing a false report. She faces as much as 30 years in prison. No sentencing will be scheduled before the judge rules on Dolloff’s motion.

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at:

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